London Stock Exchange and rabbi plotters plead guilty

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2012

Four men have pleaded guilty to a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange and target two rabbis at their homes.

The men appeared at Woolwich Crown Court with five other British Muslims and pleaded guilty to the plan to plant an improvised explosive device in the Exchange's toilets.


Anti-gay Dutch rabbi: 'I now fear for my life'

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

The Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam's Orthodox Ashkenazi community, suspended by his community last week after signing a declaration against homosexuality, says he fears for his safety in Holland.

New York-based Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, who had been due to visit the community this week, told a Dutch newspaper that he had strong evidence to suggest that it would be better not to go to the Netherlands for t


Seconds out: rabbis scrap over Jesus Christ

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

They are two of the world's most outspoken rabbis but this week Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet were at each other's throats in a blazing online row over Jesus, heresy and the race to become Britain's next chief rabbi.

It began after Rabbi Shochet's father, Rabbi Dr Immanuel Schochet, a respected Lubavitch scholar based in Canada, denounced Rabbi Boteach's new book Kosher Jesu


Rabbi quits in Sephardi split

By Simon Rocker, January 12, 2012

The rabbi picked by the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation to be its next spiritual head has pulled out of the job amid an increasingly bitter split over the choice.

London-born Rabbi David Bassous was recommended by the executive and elders of Britain's oldest Orthodox community to succeed Rabbi Abraham Levy - but a group of 20 senior members contested the validity of his election last


Sephardi war of words over rabbi's election

By Simon Rocker, January 5, 2012

The rift over the leadership of Britain's mainstream Sephardi community deepened this week with the opposing sides accusing each other of intimidation.

The mahamad (executive) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation is locked in a war of words with a group of senior members over the disputed election of Rabbi David Bassous as its next spiritual head.

In a statement issued to congreg


Sephardi leaders dismay over rabbi split

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2011

Sephardi leaders have reacted with “dismay” to attempts to block the appointment of Rabbi David Bassous as their next rabbinic head.


West Bank rabbi's passionate appeal to price tag attackers

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2011

A rabbi of a West Bank settlement has written to "the new Hasomeans" in a bid to tackle the rise in extremism.

In the wake of the rash of "price tag" attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian mosques, cars and property, Efrat’s Rabbi Shlomo Riskin called on Jews in the West Bank to cease their behaviour before it was too late.


Sephardim in dispute over plans for new head rabbi

By Simon Rocker, December 9, 2011

Sephardi leaders' plans for a new rabbinic head appeared in disarray this week after the result of an election to approve their recommended candidate was disputed.


Gender segregation 'not Jewish law' says top rabbi

By Jennifer Lipman, December 5, 2011

Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi has weighed into the ongoing issue of gender segregation in public areas.

In recent months there have been reports of Orthodox passengers enforcing a de facto segregation system on buses in Jerusalem and other areas, with woman who board told to sit at the back.


Election chaos as Sephardis choose new spiritual chief

By Simon Rocker, December 2, 2011

Leaders of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation are taking legal advice after a challenge to the result of last night's election of Rabbi David Bassous as their next spiritual head.

In a ballot of members yesterday, London-born Rabbi Bassous gained exactly the minimum two-thirds majority to secure the position, with 268 votes for him and 134 against.